Shane Lowry's ball at 18 went through tree branches and wound up 11 feet from the hole. He appreciated it. pic.twitter.com/RMczwneO1J— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 9, 2015
By Brian Keogh
Brian Keogh is a golf correspondent for The Irish Sun and a contributor to The Irish Times, Golf Digest Ireland and other golf publications. The following excerpt from Brian’s Irish Golf Desk is used with permission.
SHANE LOWRY WAS ON TOP of the world in Akron last night and thanking his lucky stars for his WGC-Bridgestone Invitational win after a ricochet in the town they call Rubber City. A dramatic final hole birdie, where his approach from the left rough at Firestone hit a tree near the green and finished up 11 feet away to set up a winning three, gave him the $1.57m pay day, a three year PGA Tour exemption and a jump of 29 spots to 19th in the world.
"It doesn't get any better than that, does it?" Lowry said. "To be honest, it hasn't sunk in yet. To beat those guys down the stretch on a golf course like this, probably one of the toughest golf courses, especially in this condition, with how firm it was this week, that we play all year.
"I said at the start of the week, I'd take eight under par, and I thought that might win. So to shoot 11 under par on this golf course just shows a lot about my game, that it's good enough to compete at any level."
Lowry's rub of the green—his ball filtered through the branches and leaves to finish 11 feet from the stick when he was under pressure to make par and stay ahead of clubhouse leader Bubba Watson— was nothing the 28-year old Clara man didn't deserve.
"I made a great par on 17 and on 18 I am not going got lie, I was pretty nervous standing on the 18th tee," Lowry said. "I have watched this tournament a lot in the past and you stand on that 18th tee and it's very familiar. You stand there and think, this is what I am here for. This is why I came this week.
"I hit a poor enough tee shot to be honest. It was quite a long way left. One of the worst tee shots I've hit all week. But I was just going down there praying I could get it down there around the green. I got down and I had a pretty horrific lie. It was sitting down in a hole, almost like someone had stood on it. It was where the crowd was walking and I just said to Dermot I'd just try to hit sand wedge and get it down to the front of the green.
"I pulled it. It came out a bit too low and it went into the tree."
Then, grinning, he added: "And the rest is history."
It is a huge win that brings to an end to nearly three years of near misses — 1,029 days or 2 years and nine months to be exact.
Justin Rose and Jim Furyk finished in a share of third place on seven under, with Robert Streb one shot further back.